Northampton smash Wasps to book home Semi

Northampton Saints booked a home Aviva Premiership Semi-final when they hammered London Wasps 74-13 at Franklins Gardens.

The Saints made a slow start to the match as Charlie Davies and Tom Varndell both scored tries for Wasps who went out to a 13-0 lead.

The Saints however responded strongly to score four first-half tries through
George North, Phil Dowson, Stephen Myler and Luther Burrell to lead 27-13 at
the break.

The Saints extended their lead straight after half time through Lee Dickson
before Ben Foden, Dickson, North, Ken Pisi, Tom Stephenson and Dowson all added
tries to seal the win.

Wasps took a surprise lead after three minutes through Davies after the scrum-half
charged down Dickson’s box kick before touching down in the corner, with Joe
Carlisle’s conversion attempt held up in the wind.

Wasps continued to control possession and territory for the next 10 minutes
and Carlisle added three points from the boot to take an 8-0 lead.

Just 90 seconds later Wasps looked to have further extended their lead as Varndell
took Nathan Hughes’s pass on the outside before sprinting down the left wing
and after the TMO confirmed no knock-on had taken place in the build-up, the
try was confirmed.

As the Saints looked to mount a comeback, Myler went over in the corner, appearing
to close the gap but the touch judge correctly ruled that Pisi had stepped into
touch before making the pass, but the Wasps defence did not hold out much longer,
as North stepped inside to touch down with Myler adding the extras.

The Saints scored their second try in quick succession following a rolling
maul with Dowson scoring before Myler’s kick was swept wide by a wicked wind
to leave the Saints trailing by a point.

All the momentum was now with the home side and Myler scored their third try
before converting from in front of the posts to take a 19-13 lead.

Northampton were awarded a penalty after Wasps were penalised for collapsing
the scrum, and Myler drilled his penalty through the posts.

The hosts looked to have scored a bonus point try as Pisi reached around Tommy
Bell to score, but the TMO correctly ruled the try out for a knock-on.

The Saints did not have to wait much longer before sealing the bonus point
as Burrell collected an excellent offload from Mike Haywood before Myler missed
the conversion to stay 27-13 up at half time.

Wasps started the second half on the back foot after spilling from the kick
off to give the Saints a scrum from close range, with Dickson being surged over
by his forwards.

Despite stealing the Northampton scrum the ball was spilled into the arms of
Foden who went over to score the Saints’ sixth try of the game. Dickson was
on point to score his second try of the game on the hour mark before North added
his second shortly after to reach the 50-point mark.

Pisi piled on the misery to score Northampton’s third try in eight minutes
after collecting James Wilson’s offload and Northampton brought up their tenth
try in controversial circumstances as replays showed that Stephenson’s try appeared
to be knocked on before grounding.

Dowson scored another try to join North and Dickson on two for the match, with
Wilson converting with the last kick of the game to seal a resounding win.

Final Score Northampton Saints (27) 74 London Wasps (13) 13

Scorers

Northampton
Tries – North 2, Dowson, Myler, Burrell, Dickson 2, Foden, K Pisi, Stephenson, Dowson
Pen -Myler
Con – Myler 4, Wilson 3
Drop –

London Wasps
Tries – Davies, Varndell
Pen

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